Wednesday, December 14, 2011

APA Paper

 There has been a lot of talk recently about the obesity epidemic and how now even more children are starting to feel the effects of this.  I decided to look further into it to learn more about it for myself here is my paper about it.

The Father of the Public School

There are many historical figures that when you see there face you recognize them immediately.  Some of these figures include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein and Frida Kahlo just to name a few.  However the man pictured to the right is the founder to the place where we learn about all these people and hardly anyone knows about him.  His name is Horace Mann and is more commonly known as "the Father of Public School".

He was born in 1796 in Massachusetts and grew up surrounded by poverty and hardships. He was a self taught until he turned 20 and got accepted into Brown University. He was an excellent student and after graduation choose a career in law.  He was highly involved in Politics and was always helping to fight for the things he believed in.  Some of these included women's rights, the abolition of slavery and during the temperance movement he fought to limit the negative impact of alcohol. However his true passion was in providing educational access to all people.

In the 19th century immigrants, small farmers and urban laborers were fighting to be more involved in democracy.  Horace man joined the fight and became the nations leading advocate for starting a school that would be open to all.  He started his battle for the creation of a common school in his birth place Massachusetts, by creating the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1837.  He wanted everyone to be able to receive an equal opportunity for a quality education. He started the movement for creating public schools.  Although people were skeptical at first due to the raises in taxes they were eventually persuaded.   In today's society every child is given a chance for a free public education and it is all possible because of Horace Mann. 

Horace Mann was an innovative thinker that same things in the world he wanted to change so he did something about it.  He got people to more outside there comfort zones and try something new that he thought would improve the country.  The work that Horace Mann put into creating these schools is the reason that public schools are so common today. I even found a school online called the Horace Mann school in honor of this amazing individual ( 

Fighting for what you believe in can be a scary thing to do especially if you don't have a lot of support from others but it is the only thing that will help us to continue to get better and grow.  Advocating for something you care about is something that you should be doing with out even having to think twice.  As Physical Educators we face a lot of opponents who think that PE is just a waste of time and money in schools.  It is our job to change there minds by showing them just how important it is and all the benefits that students can get from it.  We need to constantly be opening our minds to new ideas and can help us bring more respect to our profession. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Community Bikes

The SUNY Cortland community bike project has a chance to win 1,000 dollars to be used for refurbishing old bikes for any student to use to get around on campus.  The community bike project is in the GOOD 100 Challenge along with some other community project from other campuses.  This contest is created to get communities to come together and share what they have with others.  The SUNY Cortland community bike program is currently in third place watch the video below then follow the link and vote.

Follow this link to vote:

The rest of the projects are also really great ideas that could help make any community they are used in a better place. Its people who are starting projects like this in their community that are going to improve this world.  They have programs providing seating for bus stops that don't have anywhere to sit. There is one program that is trying to get a clothing swap started where you can rent clothing like you do book from a library. 

The great thing about all these programs is the people in charge of them are making no money off the projects.  It is just a group of people helping out others for nothing in return.  It is just people helping other people with no other motives. It is all about creating a community where you live and getting people to help one another.This is something that doesn't happen very often in today's society. I think that if more people were to start programs like this in their communities the world would be a better place.

A lot of people might think that others will take advantage of these programs and abuse the programs.   However I think that when you put a little bit of faith in society they can surprise you.  Of course their will be one or two people who don't take it seriously and may take advantage of the program but we can't let those people stop us from trying. People do sometimes have a tendency to take a mile when you give an inch but I think the only way to prevent this from happening is to keep trying.  The more programs started like this the more common it will become and people won't have to take advantage of the programs.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In order to prepare us for future job interviews we did some mock interviews in class.  These are two of my answer to the questions that were asked.  It is a great tool to be able to have these mock interviews.  We got to talk to our classmates after and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our statements.  A lot of time you can plan out what you are going to say but it may not sound as good out loud as it does on paper.  It was also beneficial to discuss what could have made my responses sound better and really show my knowledge of physical education.  I usually hate watching videos of myself but in this case it really did help a lot.  I got to see that even though I feel confident and passionate about physical education it sometimes doesn't translate.  I seem sort of soft spoken and I need to work on showing my enthusiasm more.  I also use my hands when I talk and that can be distracting for the interviewer so I need to be aware of that.  I think this was a great opportunity and I learned a lot.  I think that watching yourself on camera is one of the best and fastest ways to learn.  This can be applied to the classroom setting as well. 

I think that this would be a great way to give students feedback during their physical education classes and help them to improve their skills. Incorporating technology into the classrooms is something that as a future teacher I need to be comfortable doing.  This could be the perfect way to do just that.  The students will be excited to see themselves on camera and it will be easy to pin point any improvement they need to make.  Some students are visual learners and need to see things in order to learn them.  This would help these students because they would be able to see the mistakes they were making and get a better idea about how to fix them.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coaching Philosophy

As a professional physical educator athletics and coaching are a major aspect of the profession I rest my philosophy of coaching on three major beliefs.  These three beliefs provide the basis for what I do, what I value and why I do it as a coach. These three beliefs are self discipline, teamwork and building character.
            Athletes need to have an ample amount of self discipline in order to become the best athlete they can be.  Becoming highly skilled in any area takes a lot of hard work, dedication, practice and is very time consuming.  Student athletes need be able to divide their time between school work, practice, family and their friends.  Being able to balance all these activities is quite a difficult task for certain students, but for student athletes it is important.  In order to be a highly trained athlete it takes a lot of organization on the students part and this requires a lot of discipline.   Teaching students how to manage their time and their responsibilities is a valuable lesson that will serve to benefit them for the rest of their lives.  Creating practice schedules and giving the students a daily routine will help them to learn to manage their time.  Time management is  major component of self discipline and students who master both of these skills will benefit immensely from it.  Coaching athletes is not just about making them better players but better well round people. 
            The major benefit of sports is that the students learn how to corporate with one another and work as a team.  In all team sports the event cannot be won unless everyone comes together and works as a unit.  By getting the students to put aside differences and work together to achieve a common goal, they learn the value of teamwork and corporation.  Being able to work with all different kinds of people is a crucial part of everyday life.  Athletics give students a chance to learn the importance of communication and respect for others.  During games there will be many times where teammates will disagree but they will learn to work out their differences and find a solution.  Being able to see things from other peoples perspectives is a major part learning to be a team.  This will encourage team  bonding and help students learn how to work with others.
            The fast pace high intensity sporting events test students limits and allow them to really learn more about the type of person they are.  In game situations athletes never know what challenges they may be faced with.  Students will face competitors who have higher skill levels and they will have to learn how to always try their hardest even if the chances of winning seem impossible.  By never giving up students learn perseverance.  Through losing students learn how to be good sports by still congratulate the competitors.  Even when the students win they need to be able to feel compassion for the losing team because they know how it feels to lose.  Being a graceful winner is just as important as being a good sport when losing.  Teaching students how to become better athletes is not just about improving their physical skills but also their social skills.  In some sports students a faced with the difficult task of officiating themselves.  This teaches students fairness, respect for others and honesty.  These are just a few of the many character traits that sports teach students.

Physical Education Philosophy

As a professional physical educator I believe there a three major ideas that frame what i do and value in the field.   These ideas are creating experienced and competent movers, educating students on the benefits of physical education and providing students with all the tools to be physically active for a lifetime. 
For the majority of students school day they sit in a classroom and learn everything from who founded the world to how atoms form.  Physical education gives students a chance to learn a variety of exercises and activities that will provide them with a lifetime of health.  Physical education gives students a chance to learn about how to move and what their body can do.  By teaching students fundamental motor skills and a variety of activities they start to gain knowledge of how to be more experienced movers.  The better students become at the skills and activities the more excited they will be to be physically active.  No one enjoys doing things they are bad at that’s why it is important to develop the students skills and create activities that are appropriate for their skill level.  If the students skill level prevents them from being able to play competitive sports they still have opportunity to be physically active during physical education class.
            Physical education class is a chance for students to try a variety of different activities that help them learn how to use their bodies.  The human body is an extraordinary thing there are so many different mechanisms and so many things need to be working simultaneously just to do simply everyday tasks.  Teaching students about how and why their bodies do the things they do will help them to understand that it needs to be taken care of.  If students are not being educated about why they need to keep their body healthy they might miss the importance of it.  Students need to be informed about how much harder the body has to work if it is not healthy.  The obesity epidemic that is going on in the world right now is not something that should be taken lightly, and the only way to beat it is with knowledge.  A knowledge of how to stay at a healthy weight and what could happen if that doesn’t happen.   Aside from that they also need to understand all the limits of the human body and why it is a bad idea to push those limits without proper training.  Students tend to think they are invincible and they can bounce back from anything but they need to be reminded that the body can only take so much abuse. We only get one body in our lives and it is important to keep it healthy so it will last us a long time.
            The purpose of school is to teach students everything they need to be successful for a life time, physical education aims to serve the same purpose.  Physical education class needs to get students ready for a life time of physical activity.  By teaching students individual sports and activities they will be able to utilize their skills in those for the rest of their lives.  In order to obtain lifelong fitness it is necessary to step away from traditional PE which focuses more on team sports than anything else.  Trying to find teams to compete on as one gets older can prove to be very difficult. That is why teaching activities like zumba, yoga, hiking and golf will be much more beneficial to students.  Not to say that team sports don’t still serve a purpose in physical education because they do.  When students are younger being part of a team is very beneficial for character growth.  However once students get older they need to be directed towards more activities that they will be able to do for the rest of their lives.  Creating experienced lifelong physically active movers is what physical education is all about.

Education Philosophy

As a professional educator I rest my philosophy upon three major pillars of belief.  Together these three beliefs provide the basis for what i value, what i do, and why i do it as an educator.  These three beliefs are instilling students with a sense of pride,  teaching students how to come together and solve problems as a group and creating lifelong learners. 
            Instructional approaches must be designed to allow students of all different learning styles and abilities to be successful. When students feel like have accomplished something they didn’t think they could ever do it makes them proud.  By creating an environment where students have the perfect balance of being challenged and achieving success they will build their confidence. It is important to not only teach students concepts and ideas but also foster a sense of worth.  The young men and women who attend school need to know that they are valuable members of society and they can make a difference in the world.  Building a child’s self-esteem in school is extremely important because every child who walks through those doors matters, however sometimes their teachers and peers in school will be the only ones to tell them that.  Students who take pride in their actions and work will make better life choices than students who don’t.   Educating students across a variety of subjects and giving each one a chance to see where their talents lie is a best way to allow for a wide range students to find success. 
            The purpose of school is to teach students the information and skills necessary to be successful members of society.  Each classroom acts a small community that needs to work together to solve problems and support one another.  Each classroom needs someone to help return papers, another to collect papers, one to lead the line to the next destination and one to end the line to make sure everyone made it there.  Each of these jobs is important and without one student the class will not run as smoothly.   Simulating this in the classroom, and allowing every student a chance to try out different jobs will show them how important they are to the class.  It will also provide students with a basic understanding of how communities need the combined effort of a lot of people to function properly.  In this society there is not a single job or career out there that doesn’t require some interaction with others.  By teaching students how to work with one another in the classroom this will provided them with important interpersonal skills that are needed in everyday life.
            Curriculum should inspire students and spark their imagination and interest in a variety of different subjects.   The students need to get a taste of everything while they are young and growing up this will allow them a chance to find their passion in life.  By providing multiple options for students to expand their minds and broaden their point of view, educators are giving students a chance to be whoever they want to be.  Young men and women need to have lots of opportunities to find their talents and skills, their likes and dislikes.  All students are unique and have something different to offer the world and by giving them a chance to discover it at a young age only helps them to become the person they were born to be.  People should never stop learning there is such a vast amount of knowledge in this world it would be naive to think that one could know it all.  In order to stress this to students it is important to show them that even as an educator there is always more to learn.  Exploring new topics and ideas together will show students that even their teacher is still learning more and more every day.